With COVID cases in Texas on the rise, Harris County has taken an aggressive approach to encourage residents to get vaccinated. Harris County Public Health will offer $100 cash cards to residents receiving their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at an HCPH vaccination site, the department announced.
“The Delta Variant continues to spread like wildfire,” Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said at a news conference on August 17. “It’s harming our unvaccinated population in almost all cases.” The judge also noted that Houston’s public hospitals are “strained to their breaking point.”
While the department estimates that 63 percent of residents have had one vaccine dose, the current positivity rate for the region is more than 20 percent.
Vaccinations at any public health site are still free and no appointment is required. To qualify for the $100 cash card, residents must sign a waiver prior to the vaccination and remain in the post-vaccination waiting area at an HCPH vaccination site for the 15-to-30 minutes recommended, per a department release.
Parents must accompany their children, ages 12-17, to be vaccinated or children must bring a consent form signed by their parent or guardian. (Consent forms can be found here; 12 to 17-year-olds are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine.)
Adults over the age of 17 can choose from three vaccines: the one-dose Johnson & Johnson and the multi-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
Inoculations are also open to those needing a second round. Those in need of a second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine can also receive one at an HCPH vaccination site. (Proof of the first dose — to verify the type of vaccine initially administered — will be required.)
Harris County residents who fear potential infection can sign up for a COVID-19 test by calling 832-927-7575.